Real Madrid have clearly changed, not only because of the new system implemented by Julen Lopetegui since his arrival at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu but also because the end of the Cristiano Ronaldo era has given way to a new Madrid in attack.
It is one that is much more about the cumulative than it the individual.
The Portuguese’s departure for Juventus has allowed for the responsibilities to be distributed among the attack more evenly and those left behind have shown that there is more than enough to make up for the goals lost by his exit.
The Juventus star’s move forced for a shift in the attacking model.
The BBC front three became the BBA front three, with Marco Asensio proving the great beneficiary of the vacant spot in the starting XI.
Lopetegui and the club expected him to step up and into the role and so far he has.
Already this season Lopetegui has indicated that he will manage a squad that has 16 or 17 starters in it, with there being plenty of options to come in off the bench or to allow for rotations from week to week without the quality of the team suffering.
From outside the club there are many fingers pointing to Gareth Bale as being the obvious successor to Ronaldo in Madrid.
His quality, his potential and even his salary demand that.
What’s certain so far this season is that the Welshman is capable of stepping up and he already appears to be liberated and to have an increased sense of importance in the side.
Most importantly, though, for Bale is that to this point he has not suffered with the injuries that have too often plagued his time in the Spanish capital.
He feels strong, he is training and playing without limitations and the team is benefitting from that.
Bale has always been a player with big goals, but he was somewhat overshadowed by Ronaldo‘s presence and was almost considered as a subsidiary player in comparison.
If there is one player who has really found a new role in Lopetegui’s Madrid it is Karim Benzema.
The Frenchman has taken full advantage of the Portuguese not being there anymore by demonstrating exactly what he can offer when it comes to contributing goals.
He is no longer obliged to play a sacrificial role and to create space and chances for the former Los Blancos No.7 and he is re-establishing himself as a typical No.9.
He has four goals already this season in just three games, which marks his best ever start to a LaLiga Santander campaign in the white shirt.
With Benzema, Bale and Asensio leading the line, Real Madrid will not be lacking in goals this season.
The Frenchman will be the main goal threat, while the others will be expected to contribute as the season goes on as well, with Sergio Ramos also expecting to have a successful season for goals as he is the new penalty taker.
They used to be the responsibility of just one, but now goals are everybody’s business.
Cristiano Ronaldo is history and Real Madrid have found other ways of scoring.